In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been rather cold as of late. Although it’s not quite cold enough to freeze still water, this is the season in which ice skating rinks (and bone fractures?) proliferate.

While many of the rinks are open air, the enclosed Edogawa Sportsland Skate Rink offers the best value with entry at 500yen + 300yen skate rental for adults or 200yen entry + 200yen skate rental for kids under high school age. Among the temporary outdoor rinks, the Yokohama Akarenga Rink offers the best value with a 1,000yen entry + skate rental package. It will cost you 1,500yen to skate at Tokyo Midtown, but they do have some “pair tickets” – 2,600yen for two adults or 2,200yen for a parent and child combo. Akasaka Sacas will set you back 1,800yen, although you can save 300yen if you take your own gloves. The most expensive option (although quite a bit bigger than Sacas or Midtown) is Toshimaen at 2,200yen for adults and 1,700yen for kids. However, if you go after 3pm, both adults and kids can skate for 1,200yen each.

If spending a few hours strolling from Okinawa to Hokkaido while stuffing your face with local delicacies from scallops to otoro tuna filled manju, then the Furusato Festival is for you. Furusato means something like “hometown” in Japanese – the implication being that there will be a chance to try the kind of food that you could only get by visiting the particular prefecture. The festival has been running since the 10th with the last day this Sunday.

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